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Old 09-13-2017, 04:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Overwhelmed with Guilt


It's been 7 months since I left my exboyfriend due to drinking, I moved cities, changed jobs, and have settled well during this time. I'm happy my life is positive. On Labor Day he text me and I responded just basic catching up. Then he started calling and texting at weird hours almost every night. His behavior is erratic at best and he doesn't even attempt to hide his drinking. He sent me a picture of himself and my heart dropped he looks like he dying. He is so thin and looks so sick. He is so much worse than when I last saw him that I don't even know what to think. I know I can't make him better and I know my codepency is coming out in full swings here. I feel guilty about how wonderful and healthy my life is now and his life is exponentially worse. I feel like I'm getting sucked back in. I worry about him not having much longer to live. He said he doesn't eat he just drinks like a fish when he isn't working (not sure how he still has a job)

I know I shouldn't care or I should be thankful I removed myself from that situation.
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm going through a similar situation, bittersweet.

I don't think you "shouldn't care." There is nothing wrong with feeling compassion for someone you once loved, but his choices are his choices. He didn't have to self-destruct just because you made the decision to leave.

Keep on the straight and narrow path. It sounds like you're doing very well for yourself. And you may want to consider going no contact to avoid these feelings in the future.
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you, I'm sorry to hear you are in a similar situation.

I think naively that time apart would make us stronger individuals, I didn't prepare for me moving on with my life positively and him further destroying himself although that sounds so stupid because I left so I didn't go down with him. He makes a point to tell me how miserable he is. I love him still from a safe distance and still feel it's incredibly cruel to love someone that with such a deep commitment to killing himself. He said he drinks so much he pretends I just went to the store. That broke my heart.
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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"He said he drinks so much he pretends I just went to the store. That broke my heart. "

There are two ways to interpret this. I can see why it breaks your heart because it seems so grand and romantic, as in he loves you so much he can't live without you. When I read it, all I see is manipulation and blame, as in he can't take responsibility for his own drinking so he blames his drinking on you for leaving.

Yet another reason to go no contact. You don't have to be subjected to this.
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You can't love him to health....if love cured alcoholism, this board wouldn't exist.

Holding your life and emotions hostage to his choices will not help him and it will hurt you.

Consider wishing him well and going no contact, yes?
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Old 09-13-2017, 06:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I think it really breaks my heart because right before I decided to leave he was so out of it he barely knew if I was there or not. So it took my right to that place again. Me going to the store and every five minutes getting a call asking if I had left. His short term memory shot. There is and was nothing romantic about this disease.

You are right though if love could cure it this board wouldn't exist. I'm going to have to find the strength to block him, and not attach to his self distruction. It was there before me and until he decides for himself to make changes it will continue.
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Try to drop the guilt. You deserve everything you've worked to achieve. Regarding going back, don't. Cut all ties. He will pull you into the hell he's in and you can loose everything you have. A big hug.
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Old 09-14-2017, 04:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Careful BSL, you're getting sucked back in. BTW I really admire the resolve that made you move away and change jobs. It's worked too; you're happy and there's a physical distance between you now.

I can understand your compassion towards your AXBF and I don't think you'd be human if you were indifferent. Who knows? Where there's life there's hope and his reaching out to you might show he understands how much trouble he's in. I hope he recovers.
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Old 09-14-2017, 04:48 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Sorry but this feels like manipulation. Trying to hook you back into the craziness. There is a good reason that he is your ex.

Very well done on building a good life for yourself. He has the option on doing the same.

All the best to you.
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Old 09-14-2017, 07:47 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I know I shouldn't care or I should be thankful I removed myself from that situation.
It is not about not caring about them as much as it is about caring enough about yourself. Caring enough not to be pulled back into emotional manipulation and weapons of guilt.

The part about removing yourself from that toxic relationship…….no new contact = no new hurts.

Allowing him access to continue to emotionally abuse you is no different than him continuing to drink.

We tend to mirror them, he’s drunk calling you and your codiness is willing to accept it.
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:14 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry you are going through this. I know what it's like to have your emotions hostage. I would agree with the no contact rule as others have stated. Only because there is truly NOTHING you can do to heal him. One great thing I read above is the acknowledgement that this problem was there well before you, so nothing you do or any action you take, will make it go away. It's as you say, only trying to take you with it. And yes, it does sound like manipulation. No contact will do both of you good. Good for him because it will allow him to truly figure out if he wants to keep down this path as he watches everyone leave, and good for you because it is out of your hands and you know in your heart he is just as capable of getting well as anyone. If he is working, then he is obviously able to get help.

I do send you well wishes though, as addiction is horrible. You feel like you are abandoning them with their awful illness, but it truly is a matter of them doing what they are gonna do, and whether just one or two lives ruined by it. Again, if he is able to work...is he really at death's door, or does he want you to think he is?
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:26 AM   #12 (permalink)
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It's absolutely fine to care about someone from afar because their life is simply too toxic to engage with. It does not mean you care any less, nor does it make you a bad person. Remember this.
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Old 09-14-2017, 11:38 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I've been thinking a lot about no contact recently...

I think Al Anon's detaching with love is what I try to remember.

Don't feel bad for caring. It's not wrong to care. It would be strange to not care when you see someone suffer. The hard part I find is that I don't get my own feelings mixed up....and I think this is where codependency comes in.

Treat him kindly by your own standards IF you can keep yourself separate.

I think if you have told someone not to contact you and they ignore your requests, no contact is the way.

If not, there's no rule that says you have to go no contact...you can still tell them what you want. You can set your boundary clearly...

If you haven't clearly said "I want no contact from now on" there's no reason to expect someone will do that.

It's true that we don't "owe" anyone anything and don't have to talk to them, it is still kind to treat people as we would like to be treated.

You'll be the best judge of what feels right for your own situation.

I think to tell him that you are sad to hear he is having a hard time and wish him well is not a problem. The bit that needs to be clear is that you know (I'd be firm with this bit) that there is nothing you can do to help and you need and want to move on now....that it is out of your hands and only he can help himself with his addiction. But that there is professional support out there no matter how hard it feels for him (no need to start sending him stuff or doing the work for him at this point!!).

Just be clear you want to move on....it's out of your hands...and that if he wants help he needs to seek professional support.

You can wish him well....and keep yourself safe and away.

Sorry you're going through this...

It's a horrible horrible dilemma!
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Old 09-14-2017, 12:09 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Thank you, for all of the encouragement. It was exactly what I needed to hear. He knows how to manipulate me but I've come to far to give him the power to do so. Do I wish he had spend this time working on himself? I do, but he hasn't. That is fact. I can't help him, I left knowing I put it all on the table on HE made the choice not to help himself.

He is sick, and he chooses to stay there. I'm sick too in the way codepency mirrors his addiction that is so perfectly put. I have stability now, something he could not offer me. I clearly have more work to do on myself in the way that my self esteem is clearly so low that I allow myself to be manipulated by him.

Thank you for all the positivity, I needed to hear I'm doing the right thing. Mostly, Needed to be reminded that we both have choices. He can choose to get well and he hasn't... that's on him not on me. I can only make choices for myself.
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